WAY OUT                                             LA SORTIE

Today he was going home. He never liked it here. Now that she was gone, liked it even less. The memory of his house came and went, just like everything else. Did he have a house?  Where was the car parked? He was tired of this. He was going home.

Jake had left his day clothes on the bed and before leaving asked him to dress himself. He tried. The buttons on his shirt wouldn’t work. His fingers were too big, the buttons too small. She always helped him dress. What happened to her? One side of his shirt was now longer than the other. She fell? Why didn’t you tell me? He tucked the tails into his jeans, forgetting to zip his fly. He pulled his braces up and around his shoulders. He waited. What happened to her? She fell? Where is that guy who helps me?

Today he was going home.  He hand-turned the wheels on his chair and glided through the doorway of his room towards the elevator. He knew he had to get downstairs. That was where home was, downstairs and out the door.  The elevator was across the hall and past the stair-well.

He stopped. Stopped at the stair-well and looked down.  The chair was edged as close to the landing as possible. A kiss of memory. He remembered. Off balance and with shaky legs he stood, pushed the chair back, and clumsily fell to the floor. Taking one stair at a time he continued down the stairs on his bum dragging the wheelchair behind him. He knew he would need it because today he was going home. Down the stairs and out that damn door…

Friday morning I physically moved my Step-dad into the memory care wing of my parent’s assisted living facility. He has everything he needs, except my Mother. She’ll be released from skilled care soon. She says she will miss him, but especially in their bed…”We snuggle to keep each other warm.”  They each celebrate ninety years of living.